Paul’s Story

Formerly a scientist for some 26 years, I was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), experienced burnout and had to say farewell to this career in order to focus on recovery- undoubtedly my biggest life challenge to date.

I’m Paul Lapham, Peer Support Worker at Northumberland Recovery College, I’m delighted to be part of the team. 

I’m born and bred in the north east and passionate about people, inclusiveness, learning and the collective power of togetherness…with a good slice of humour along the way.

Formerly a scientist for some 26 years, I was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), experienced burnout and had to say farewell to this career in order to focus on recovery- undoubtedly my biggest life challenge to date.

Through attending and facilitating sessions at my local recovery college (and other volunteering), I regained purpose and self confidence, made new friends and learned useful coping strategies. I finally discovered an environment in which I felt understood and inspired by the great people around me. This enabled me to harness adversity and use it to reinvent my new authentic self.

I view managing my own mental health much like caring for a pet dog- it needs to be positively engaged with fulfilling activities, fed, watered, nurtured, exercised daily, trained and it responds well to praise and treats…despite occasionally leaving an unwanted ‘package’ on the carpet!

I look after myself by connecting with people and animals, walking, mindful photography, Pilates, music (Mark Knopfler is my ‘local hero’) and fixing broken items. Self care really matters. Why? As the well known cosmetic advert tells us, ‘because you’re worth it’.

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